Moderately Easy—Barbie Evening Gown

Can we think of Barbie without thinking of her in something sophisticated? I can’t. I came up with this pattern for the beginner Seamstress and it is versatile pattern. You can make one like the first image or use other materials.

An elegant evening gown can be made using a tulle overdress.

Something like this.


Or this.


Or the fabric can be decorated.  How about this?


Or, it can be a long summer dress like this.


The possibilities are nearly endless.  The only limits are your imagination.



I chose stretch velvet to show you how to make the dress.

DSCF3357 (2)

Let’s get started.

Go the where it says PATTERNS on the front page. Click on the word and patterns should appear. Click on Barbie-Modern Fashion Doll Evening Gown #1 and download the pattern. Cut out the pattern pieces leaving the black line intact. (Cut on the outside of the black line.) Tape the pattern together as the pattern directs you to.)

*(For the true beginner: Most fabric you buy comes off a a cardboard rectangle called a bolt. The material is folded in half. The place where the fabric is folded in half is called “the fold”.

Now, lay the pattern out on your fabric. Make sure that only one side of the skirt pattern is on the fold. The other side of the pattern should be a little below the fold. Next, pin the pattern in place and carefully cut it out.

(If you are working with a woven fabric, you might want to put something to prevent the edges from fraying. Two brands are Fray Stop or Fray Check. Carefully put a thin line of the product around the edges of the dress pieces.)

cut out

Using matching thread, turn the dress bodice pieces so that it is good side to good side (Pretty side to pretty side) and pin together. Sew a 1/4 in. seam. (I didn’t this time, but I’ll use white thread from time to time, so you can see the stitches better.)

pin bodice

Sew a running stitch across the top of the two pieces.

If you need a better example of a running stitch than the picture above, here are two bigger pictures below.

pin bodice


This is a left handed view. Make the stitches as close together as you can.


sew bodice


This is a right handed view.  Make the stitches as close together as you can.

Right handed


Next, turn the bodice good side out and press the seam flat. Go ahead and press the skirt too if it needs it.

press bodice


Pin and sew both darts together using a 1/8 inch seam. (You make the darts by sewing together the two cut out V’s.)

pin dart in bodice


(If you are sewing by hand and the material is thick like this stretch velvet, you might find that you can’t easily make small stitches. If this is the case, then you might want to sew the seam a second time.)

I sewed this with white thread so you can see the stitches.

sew dart

When you are done, it should look like this.

bodice with darts

Fold over the top of the bodice and put a few stitches on the sides to hold the folded over material stable. (This is called tacking it down.)


It should look something like this.

fold over top of bodice


Next, hem the skirt. Turn up the bottom of the skirt and pin.

pin hem

Then using a hem stitch, hem the dress. Here are some examples.

Right handed Hem stitch example.

DSCF3217 fliped

Left handed Hem stitch example.


Next, use a fine running stitch around the center of the skirt. Do not cut the thread, but pull off the needle.

stitches togather skirt

You will use the thread to gather the skirt by pulling on the unsecured side. (The side that had the needle.) Gather the skirt to the approximate length of the bottom of the bodice. (The side of the bodice with the raw edge.) Then pin it to the bodice. (Right side to right side or to put it another way, pretty sides facing into each other.)  Try to make the gather on the skirt even across the bottom of the bodice. You may have to adjust it until the gathers are even. Make sure the skirt is even with the bodice.

pin skirt to bodice

Now using as small a stitch as you can, sew the bodice and the skirt together. If you don’t think the stitches are fine enough, you can run a second set of stitches across. The seam should be 1/4 inch. (Again, I’m using white thread, so you can see it better.)

sew skirt to bodice


Once that is complete, sew the bottom 2/3rds of the skirt together, outside to outside.

sew back of dress


Fold over the edges of the back of the bodice. Use a hem stitch to hold it in place. (Again, I’m using white thread so you could more easily see the process.)

sew back of bodice

Now check the fit of the dress with the doll, by putting the dress on the doll. Figure out where the fastener is going to be and mark it with something.


I prefer snaps for my doll dresses, but I think the easiest for beginners is Velcro circles. You can buy the self-sticking kind, but they will not hold on velvet, so you will have to sew the Velcro on. Put one at the top of the bodice and one at the bottom.

attach fasteners

Now you can decorate the dress any way you want.

decorate skirt

Are you done? Good Job!!!


Here are a few more pictures of the same pattern.




Which dress do you like best? Tell me in the comments section.

One comment

  1. Wonderful, clear and concise directions! All your dresses are so pretty it’s hard to choose a favorite but I think the turquoise with tulle and sequins is very stunning!


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